When you think about communication at your company, what immediately comes to mind? Do you think about negative energy and gossip? Or maybe you're happy with the open lines that exist from top to bottom. Perhaps you find yourself somewhere in between. No matter where you find yourself, it's always wise to look at the best practices of other companies to see what you can do to improve communication. Check out these ideas for improving your company's communication habits.
Always Be a Human, Not Just a Manager
The people who work for you are human beings and should be treated as such. While getting too close with employees isn't advisable, you should still have a working knowledge of their life beyond the office. Keeping your conversations strictly work-related can inhibit communication. Take time to ask about their weekend, family, and interests. Not only does this open the lines of communication, but it also helps build trust.
Focus on Feedback
Companies with the strongest communication provide frequent feedback, both positive and constructive. Employees enjoy being recognized for their accomplishments and value being guided when a misstep or miscalculation occurs. Find ways to give precise feedback. It's more than a mass email thanking the entire team for a good quarter – each employee wants to know you notice his/her hard work. Acknowledge your team as individuals for what they contributed and take time to work with them when something needs to be corrected.
Find the Right Tools
Beyond in-person conversations, there are several ways to help streamline communications and keep your team connected. A great way to keep the conversation going and allow everyone to be on the same page is to use a technology like HipChat, Band, or Slack.
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